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Honduras will recount tallies in presidential vote

December 2, 2013

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Honduras’ electoral court will recount vote tally sheets from the Nov. 24 the presidential election after receiving a fraud complaint from second-place candidate Xiomara Castro, court president David Matamoros said Monday.

Matamoros said the recount might begin sometime Monday.

Castro filed a complaint Monday claiming fraud in the election, which she lost to governing party candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez. The court’s official results gave Hernandez 37 percent of the votes to Castro’s 29 percent.

Castro, 54, and her husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, claimed victory and have said they won’t accept the official count. Without presenting any evidence, she claims tally sheets were altered, the voter registry included people who are dead or out of the country, and polling stations were inadequately monitored.

Zelaya was ousted in a 2009 coup that has left Honduras politically unstable, and poverty and violence have worsened over the last four years under outgoing President Porfirio Lobo. Castro’s candidacy was viewed as Zelaya’s attempt to make a political comeback after being ousted with six months left in his term.

The couple led a peaceful march of several thousand people Sunday protesting the official results.

Castro originally asked for a recount of all ballots, but her formal complaint only sought a recount of the vote tally sheets compiled at each polling station.

Hernandez has said his victory is legitimate and he won’t negotiate. He hasn’t commented directly on the fraud allegations.

The presidential vote was monitored by missions from the European Union and Organization of American States, which concluded that the election process was transparent despite irregularities.

They agreed there was a faulty system for issuing poll workers’ credentials, and they said people who were either dead or who left Honduras long ago could account for up to 30 percent of registered voters.

The EU observation team said Monday that it could not comment on whether the irregularities were enough to change the results.

Update hourly